Sport utility vehicles accounted for an impressive 42 percent of all vehicles sold in the United States in 2017. Clearly, SUVs are among the most popular rides on the road. Best of all, the sheer variety of sizes, styles, features, and drivetrain options means there really is something for everyone.
Many SUVs do a particularly good job of meeting the needs of older drivers. Seniors often have different priorities and preferences than younger drivers, including better safety features, enhanced visibility and comfort, and easier ingress and egress for drivers and passengers.
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Here are the five 2019 SUVs that have the most to offer older drivers.
1. 2019 Kia Soul
While its styling and marketing efforts suggest the 2019 Kia Soul is meant for younger drivers, don’t be deceived by appearances. The Soul is indeed a fine vehicle for the young and adventurous, but it’s also a fantastic choice for older drivers in need of a safe, reliable, and accommodating ride.
The base trim is fitted with a 1.6-liter engine that produces 130 horsepower. Many drivers, however, prefer the Soul Plus and its more robust 2.0-liter, 161-horsepower engine. The Soul Exclaim adds even more power with a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine that produces 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. The base Soul and the Soul Plus are rated at 27 mpg in mixed driving. That figure improves to 28 mpg for the Soul Exclaim.
The sporty Soul boasts a sterling safety rating of five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It also features automatic emergency braking, forward-collision warning, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-departure warning systems on higher trim levels. The Soul also has a spacious interior with upright seats and broad windows, providing excellent visibility for drivers of all sizes.
With an MSRP starting at just $16,490, you can’t go wrong with the 2019 Kia Soul.
2. 2019 Acura RDX
The Acura RDX has been an excellent SUV for years. So, a complete redesign for the 2019 model year means the RDX is back and better than ever.
This luxury SUV is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four that generates a very respectable 272 horsepower. Even better, it musters a highly impressive — and useful — 280 pound-feet of torque. The base model is front-wheel drive, but you may wish to spring for the upgrade to Acura’s proprietary Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system to ensure you can get anywhere you need to go. You can expect around 24 mpg combined when equipped with front-wheel drive and 23 mpg if you opt for all-wheel drive.
Inside the cabin, the RDX is every bit as comfortable and spacious as you’d expect of a luxury SUV. It’s also equipped with a rich set of standard AcuraWatch features. This includes collision avoidance systems, automated emergency braking, departure warning systems, lane-keeping assists, and a multi-view backup camera. Higher trim levels add even more safety and assist features. Additionally, the 2019 RDX boasts a perfect safety rating and an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ certification from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Although the $37,300 starting price tag is higher than some other options on the list, there’s no doubt you’ll get what you pay for with the Acura RDX.
3. 2019 Subaru Forester
Fresh off a full redesign for 2019, the venerable Subaru Forester is now in its fifth generation. The latest redesign stuffs the Forester’s trademark practicality and go-anywhere driveability into a sleeker and more refined package.
The only powertrain available is a 2.5-liter flat-four, but the 182-horsepower engine delivers enough performance to get the job done. As usual, standard all-wheel drive makes the Forester a fantastic option if you live in an area prone to foul weather. In terms of fuel economy, you can expect an excellent 29 mpg in mixed driving conditions.
The 2019 Forester sports a variety of standard and optional safety features. Every Forester now comes standard with the basic EyeSight safety system. This includes driver assist systems for adaptive cruise control, automated braking, and lane-departure warnings. For added safety, the top-level trim features Subaru’s DriverFocus system. This system uses advanced tracking and facial recognition to track the driver’s eye movements, allowing it to quickly identify when you’re drowsy or distracted from the road in front of you. It hasn’t yet been crash-tested, but expect the 2019 Forester to score even better than the 2018 model and its IIHS Top Safety Pick+ designation.
Best of all, the 2019 Subaru Forester starts at a very reasonable $24,295.
4. 2019 Volvo XC40
The 2019 Volvo XC40 isn’t just a great SUV for seniors. According to the U.S. News & World Report, it’s the top-ranked luxury subcompact SUV on the market. The all-new model combines excellent performance, a sumptuous interior, and a lengthy list of features designed to keep you safe and entertained.
All trim levels are motivated by a perky 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo. The base T4 model outputs 184 horsepower and musters 27 mpg combined. The upmarket T5 is tuned to put out an impressive 248 horsepower with a minimal drop in efficiency. The T5 trim also gets standard all-wheel drive.
It has yet to undergo crash testing, but there’s every reason to believe the new XC40 offers the same superior safety as Volvo’s other offerings. The XC40 is also packed to the gills with standard safety features. Pedestrian and traffic sign recognition, lane-keeping assist, front automated braking, lane-departure and collision warning systems, automatic headlights, and driver attention monitoring are all standard. Higher trim levels add blind spot monitoring, cross-traffic alerts, active parking assist, parking sensors, and more. The Premium package also adds the semi-autonomous Pilot Assist mode. For an MSRP beginning at $33,700, the 2019 Volvo XC40 offers a ton of value at a reasonable price point.
5. 2019 Toyota RAV4
A vehicle that sells more units than any other non-pickup on the market is probably doing something right. The Toyota RAV4 is the most popular SUV on the market because it fuses utility, off-road capability, comfort, and technology into an attractive and affordable package.
A 2.5-liter, 203-horsepower engine lurks beneath the hood of all gasoline-powered RAV4 trims. You can choose to equip the RAV4 with either front-wheel or all-wheel drive, both of which manage to average a solid 29 mpg. There’s also an all-wheel hybrid model that jumps the RAV4’s efficiency to 39 mpg combined.
One thing to note is that the RAV4’s sleek design makes it a bit harder for taller people to enter and exit. For everyone else, however, the redesigned Toyota offers a very comfortable and supportive interior. More importantly, it’s loaded with safety tech. Every RAV4 ships with the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 system standard. This means you’ll have access to adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, road-sign detection, lane-tracing assist, collision avoidance, pedestrian detection, and lane-departure warning with steering assist. Considering the 2018 RAV4 was an IIHS Top Safety Pick+, you can expect excellent safety ratings again once testing has been completed.
Expect a starting MSRP of $26,545 for the base model.